Calgary luger Sam Edney didn't mince words Thursday after learning about the Court of Arbitration for Sport's ruling that sanctions against the athletes should be annulled and their individual results at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi be reinstated because of insufficient evidence.
The IOC a year ago banned 43 Russians for life from the Games and disqualified them from Sochi 2014 due to organised doping practices there, including the tampering with samples and sample-swapping.
In addition to lifting the bans on the 28, CAS also lifted the life bans of another 11 Russians but barred them from competing at the Pyeongchang Olympics that start on February 9.
CAS decided that 11 other athletes were guilty of doping.
Eleven more Russians were ruled to have been guilty of doping but had lifetime bans imposed by an International Olympic Committee disciplinary panel two months ago cut to a ban only from the Pyeongchang Games, which open next week.
The court ruling was also set to reinstate seven Russian medals from the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.
"We need to take a long, hard look at sport's leading administrators and sport's legal system when we see the greatest fraud at an Olympic Games and years of institutional doping conspiracy pass by with only minor punishment".
In 11 cases, the evidence collected was found to be sufficient to establish an individual anti-doping rule violation.
Plenty big enough to make the grotesque subterfuge of Sochi, the tampering with doping-control samples and covering up for Russian cheats, seem not so serious after all.
It said they would be "declared ineligible" for this month's Games "instead of a life ban from all Olympic Games".
"The result of the CAS decision does not mean that athletes from the group of 28 will be invited to the Games", it said in a statement.
The IOC has complained the CAS rulings could "have a serious impact on the future fight against doping" but, coming so close to Pyeongchang, USADA has described the situation as a "sorry mess".
Irish Olympic Council president Sarah Keane said the court's decision was "very disappointing".
"This made it impossible to determine which Russian Para athletes were clean and which were not; it was clear that Russia's participation in Para sport events would severely question the integrity and credibility of sporting competition".
There has been a positive development for Russia's athletes in the doping saga.
The Russian Olympic Committee asked the International Olympic Committee to allow 15 Russian athletes to take part in the 2018 Olympics, Vice President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said. "I think that's something that we should be celebrating and show our support for our athletes who are doing the right thing".
"It's a big victory for them and I'm relieved that justice has finally been done", Philippe Baertsch, a lawyer for the athletes, told The Associated Press.
"It is outrageous that there is no concrete reason which explains my exclusion from the Olympics, and furthermore people now view me as an athlete who used doping", Ahn said.
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